The Colorado Avalanche continue to stay active in the trade market, acquiring enigmatic forward Tomas Fleischmann in exchange for veteran defenseman Scott Hannan.
Simply put this deal seems agreeable for both sides. The Caps get a crease-clearing, shot-blocking defenseman while the Avs replace a top six forward. Now let’s take a look at what both teams can expect.
We decided to have a little fun with this one, so here is resident Caps expert Reggie Yinger with the breakdown on the man known in Washington as Flash:
In an effort to free up additional salary cap space, the Washington Capitals parted ways with forward Fleischman. “Flash” played a total of five seasons for the Capitals with his best statistical season happening during the 2009-2010 campaign, in which he amassed 51 total points and a career high in goals (23) and assists(28). The Capitals currently have no shortage of offense, but they do however lack talent on the defensive side of the puck, so receiving a true defensive defenseman like Scott Hannan is something that the Capitals have wanted for some time now.
The Avs have been hammered by the injury bug this season. Most recently, forwards Chris Stewart and TJ Galiardi have been hampered with injuries along with goalie Craig Anderson and defenseman Kyle Cumiskey. Colorado has also been without Peter Mueller, who has missed all of the regular season due to concussion symptoms. By acquiring Flash, the Avalanche now have the ability to use him as they see fit in a utility role splitting time between the wing and center position.
By contrast, Adrian Dater of The Denver Post recently put up his parting thoughts on Hannan. Keep in mind that prior to coming over to the Avs, Dater also saw a good deal of the d-man on the San Jose Sharks.
As I wrote over the summer in a final report card on Hannan, it’s not like the guy was ever a terrible player. He was uber-durable, never whined about anything and always seemed to give a good effort out there.
But we were always left with the feeling of “Is this all there is?” for a guy who signed a four-year, $18 million contract in 2007. He was supposed to be a nasty, in-your-face D-man who rocked people all over his own end.
Instead, what we often saw was just a kind of quiet, stay-at-home guy who didn’t create big ruffles anywhere. We always were waiting for that pain-in-the-neck kind of guy, like he was to Peter Forsberg in the 2004 playoffs for San Jose. But it never seemed to come. He seemed more like your basic ham-and-egger type of player, but with a filet mignon contract.
Probably the biggest thing not mentioned here is that the Caps really could use just a stable defenseman. In passing, they refer to Tom Poti as a shutdown d-man, which he has clearly never been in his career. In addition, Nate Ewell of the Washington Capitals’ PR Department pointed out that Hannan would have led the team in blocked shots had he played for the Caps in previous seasons. .
So in short, the Avs get their guy– a replacement for Galiardi, Stewart and Mueller. The Caps also get a boost which should benefit both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov. As I said in the past, Fleischmann was part of the problem and now he has become the solution.
How it effects others: Eric Fehr and Matt Hunwick will gain playing time from these moves. Kevin Porter and Tyler Sloan likely will see less ice time.